Latest case prompts advice from your Cheshire vets
A recent case of Alabama Rot in the local Knutsford area is concerning for vets and pet owners alike. Although the disease is extremely rare, dog owners should remain vigilant at this time. This information should ensure that you know everything you need to about the condition to keep your animal safe. If you have any questions or suspect a case of Alabama Rot, contact us today on 0156533799.
What is Alabama Rot / CRV?
Alabama Rot was first discovered in the late 1980s. Also known as Idiopathic Cutaneous and Renal Glomerural Vasculopathy or CRGV, the condition causes severe skin lesions, similar to the appearance of ulcers, in the lower limbs and feet of dogs.
Blood vessels which supply the skin and kidneys become damaged, causing blood clots to form, which can in turn lead to kidney failure. The chances of saving your dog are massively affected by quick identification and treatment of the condition.
What causes Alabama Rot?
The cause of Alabama Rot remains unknown, but exposure to common bacterial infections and toxins has been ruled out. Research is ongoing and active, lead by David Walker, a small animal specialist in internal medicine, based at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists on the South Coast. Locally there has been a case reported by a Cheshire vets, meaning that owners should be vigilant.
Who does it affect?
Alabama Rot can affect any breed, age or sex of dog.
Should I avoid certain locations?
An environmental cause is suspected and cases have been identified across the UK. There is currently no advice to avoid specific locations when walking your dog.
Is it common?
Between November 2012 and May 2015, 57 cases of Alabama Rot were diagnosed in the UK. There has also been a more recent case locally.
What are the signs of Alabama Rot?
The main sign of Alabama Rot is lesions of the feet, lower legs or occasionally the mouth. Although skin lesions can be caused by any number of conditions, it is always best to err on the side of caution, particularly in light of recent cases locally. Only a subset of Alabama Rot cases develop kidney failure, but an animal may require immediate and aggressive treatment, or even referral to a specialist hospital.
When do dogs get Alabama Rot?
Cases are seen all year round with more cases during the winter and spring.
Is Alabama Rot related to Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI)?
No, the two are unrelated and you can read more about Seasonal Canine Illness in our blog.
How is it treated?
As the cause of the condition is still unknown, treatment is based on supporting the dog’s body systems. Skin lesions will be cleaned and often dressed to reduce infection. Antibiotics are likely to be prescribed in case of a bacterial cause and to limit other infections. If kidney failure occurs or appears imminent then hospitalisation for intensive intravenous fluid therapy and monitoring will be advised. Giving the patient anti-sickness medication and antacids can often make them more comfortable.
Share the below infographic on your social media feed along with this blog and let other local dog owners know about the disease.